Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Items

A few things to mention:
  • I'm watching the PBS series Broadway: The American Musical. It's real good. I see that there is a Spider-Man musical that Julie Taymor and Bono are going to work on.
  • I am disgusted at how stupid some of my fellow human beings are for passing on stories like this. Let me reiterate -- not na├»ve, STUPID.
  • Here's an attempt to map out the Blogosphere.
  • This lengthy essay examines the Semantic Web and looks for analogies to understand it. Excerpts: We have a great model for the Web. It's the page: text with images. We're all familiar with concepts of the page. It's clear, easy to grasp. I'd postulate we need a similar construct or paradigm or analogue for the Semantic Web. We have a long history with read-only text, whether as official public communication, or as unofficial comment. We also have a long experience (400+ years) of experience of a particular technology's deployment of words and images in a page - whether as an illuminated manuscript, or an early printed text with woodcuts. The one new thing added in the Web to the notion of the page - the thing that makes it a Web page - is the hypertext link. The link is really the only core new concept introduced to the page - and more times than not, that link's job is to links to another page. The translation from one mode of non web-page to the Web page is not a terribly huge leap. The link as a concept is almost what we'd call "intuitive" in its use... ...So, if the analogue for the Web is the page, what is the analogue for the Semantic Web? What is the familiar technology (like the page) plus the "new thing" like the Link upon which we can base a description of the Semantic Web as familiar, plus some (single) new concept to extend the familiar? And why is finding this analogue important? Part of the answer to that question may stem from whom do people in the Semantic Web community wish to attract to be involved as practitioners, innovators, creators, discoverers in this space? If it's the same range of passions and expertise that have brought so much to the Web from the arts, humanities, sciences, business and so on, then this question of model becomes critical.

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